Ready to wake up at the crack of dawn on Friday to take advantage of some screaming Black Friday deals? Don't bother, writes The New York Times in its rundown of how to get the most out of Black Friday:
- Never mind the doorbusters—you’re better off at home. The divide between the in-store sales of Black Friday and the online deals of Cyber Monday has eroded. A “Cyber Week” of online sales now stretches from roughly the day before Thanksgiving to November 26, and most of the best deals available at brick-and-mortar stores are also available online.
- Know what you want before you shop. Going to the grocery store without a list makes for a disorganized shopping trip. The same goes for Black Friday deal hunting. Knowing what you’d like to save on will make the whole affair a lot less overwhelming and keep you from succumbing to impulse purchases you might regret.
- Watch for storewide sales. Your list will especially come in handy if you find a retailer offering a storewide discount. The laptop or blender you’re hoping Amazon will discount might be available from another online store or from the manufacturer directly.
- Restock household consumables. Big-ticket items such as standing mixers, Instant Pot models, televisions, and noise-canceling headphones attract the most attention, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also a chance to stock up on the things you go through regularly. How many spare light bulbs are in your hall closet? Do you have enough coffee filters, Brita refills, and HEPA filter replacements to last you until Cyber Week next year? If the price is right, stock up.
- Replace your worn-out basics. Are your bath towels old and scratchy? Are your washcloths ready to become rags? If you really want to get thrifty, forget the luxury purchases and replace those threadbare bedsheets and lumpy bed pillows.
- Look to save money in the long run. Sometimes, spending wisely can even reduce your expenses overall. A $4 trip to the coffee shop every other day, for example, may not seem like much, but consider the total monthly cost. A high-quality burr grinder and a simple pour-over coffee maker can put you on a par with your local barista while significantly cutting down on your spending.
- Shop economically and ecologically. Not ready to give up the coffee-shop visits? We understand — the little things that help us enjoy our day are important. But some coffee places, Starbucks included, offer a small discount to customers who bring their own container. A good thermos or travel mug will let you enjoy your brew on the go.
- Assemble that emergency kit you'r supposed to have. It can be painful to put hard-earned cash into items you hope never to need, but if you don’t have a roadside emergency kit in your trunk, you’re taking a risk. An easy-to-use tire-changing jack and jumper cables with a battery starter can have you back on the road rather than waiting for AAA. The same goes for anyone living in earthquake country without an earthquake kit. You may not be able to save on a pre-made one, but Black Friday could net you savings on the most expensive elements.
- Know when to log off. Have you ever gone to the store and thought, “I’m here, I should buy something?” On Black Friday, beware of this attitude. It’s never a waste not to buy something. The best way to save is often to avoid opening your wallet at all.